Teaching Equality to Kindergartners

I have my kindergarten class performing Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” for a graduation talent show coming up and I’ve paired it with the cute little poem “The Crayon Box that Talked” that talks about all the colors of the crayon box working together.  

While going over the words in the Michael Jackson song, one of my students curiously asked, “Teacher, what is Equal-lity?”  OHHHHH man, I immediately thought, what did I get myself into?!  How on earth could I get kindergartners to grasp this concept?

Well, I did what any good kindergarten teacher would do: pull out the candy.

I handed each student every color of the package of M&M’s.

They were so extremely excited and didn’t understand how M&M’s could possibly explain equal-lity.  

Then, I told them to look at all the beautifully colored candy.  Each candy has a very different color.

After gawking at the individual beauty of each color, I told the students to bite into each one and to make sure to see the INSIDE.

While they were doing that, I told them, “Look, see how each candy is different on the outside, yet the same on the inside?”

They shouted, “Yes, teacher!” in unison.  As if that was the end of the lesson and they understood and were ready to chow down the candies.

I continued, “That’s equality.  People are that way, too!  I don’t look like you and you don’t like like me but on the inside we all have the same things!”  

Finally, Joe shouted, “Like a heart, Teacher?!”

“Yes, like a heart, Joe!”

I think at least for a second, I got them to look past the candies to the bigger picture.



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